WP - Jhoulys Chacin (1-0)
LP - Miles Mikolas (0-1)
SV - Josh Hader (1)
HR - MIL: Mike Moustakas (1), Christian Yelich (1), Chacin (1); STL: Kolten Wong (1, 2)
This Opening Day brings as much optimism and as much expectation as any in recent memory.
Jhoulys Chacin took the mound for the Brewers and Miles Mikolas did so for St.Louis. Chacin came in hoping for a strong start to the season, something that has eluded him in the past. Mikolas was looking to build on his great 2018.
The first inning began well for the Brewers’ best starter in 2018. Chacin started the first inning by striking out Matt Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt, and Paul DeJong. Mikolas got a questionable call off the inner part of the plate to strike out Lorenzo Cain to start the bottom half of the first, and he went onto get Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun to ground out.
The second inning was not as kind to Chacin and the Brewers. After getting the first two hitters, Chacin walked Dexter Fowler. Kolten Wong next ambushed an 89 mph slider that got too much of the plate for a two-run shot. Harrison Bader decided to make it back-to-back for the Cardinals with a monster home run that exited the ballpark at 110.6 mph. Both home runs came on the first pitch by Chacin. Mike Moustakas got a run back for the Brewers in the bottom of the second with a mammoth shot to center field. At the end of two, the Cardinals led 3-1.
Chacin got back on track in the third making short work of the Cardinals first three hitters. For Milwaukee, the third was a good inning. Giving up a hit to the pitcher is never good, and Mikolas did just that when Chacin singled to left field. Cain followed with a single up the middle, and then Mr. Yelich came to the plate.
Ambushing the first pitch from Mikolas, the MVP just cleared the center field wall and the glove of a leaping Harrison Bader allowing him to round the bases to thunderous chants of “MVP.” The score at the end of three was 4-3 Brew Crew.
The fourth inning was uneventful offensively, and Chacin pitched around a single to Bader in the fifth. The bottom of the fifth resulted in another hit by hitting sensation Jhoulys Chacin. This time Chacin went deep to make the score 5-3.
Chacin came back out for the top of the sixth, and was obviously beginning to labor. He walked Goldschmidt and went to a 3-2 count before striking out DeJong. Chacin left to a standing ovation, and Junior Guerra finished the top half of the sixth with no damage done. Chacin’s line was 5.1 innings pitched, giving up 3 runs and striking out 7.
Kolten Wong began the top of the seventh by hitting his second home run of the day into the bullpen in right field, but Guerra was able to limit the Cards to just that run.
The bottom of the seventh came to nothing for the Brewers, and the top of the eighth saw Josh Hader enter to shut down St. Louis for game one of 162. Goldschmidt up, Goldschmidt down. DeJong up, DeJong down. Ozuna up, Ozuna down as Hader struck out the side in the top of the eighth.
After the Brewers put up a small threat that came to nothing in the bottom of the eighth, Hader returned to the mound in the ninth. Yadier Molina was able to get the bat on the ball, but was a fly out to Cain. Dexter Fowler came up next and struck out.
Next up was pinch-hitter Jose Martinez, who was 2 for 3 in his career with a home run off Hader. Martinez drove the first offering deep to right center, and it was over the wall...and pulled back in as Cain stole the game tying homer with a leaping catch and ended the game in a win for the Brew Crew. What a start to 2019!
Throwing the ball in the air after the catch is what makes this slightly better than Keon's game-savers, imo https://t.co/hPi8C0dQe6— Jaymes L (@JaymesL) March 28, 2019
The Cardinals and Brewers do it again tomorrow at 7:10 CST. Jack Flaherty and Freddy Peralta take the mound for their respective teams. The game can seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin and heard on WTMJ.